What is an Alt Session?

We’ve been taking photos of couples for the better part of two decades and we’re always pushing ourselves to think outside of the box and do things a bit differently. Several years ago, we realized that most of our engagement sessions were similar. We would take a couple to a mountain park just before sunset and take 60 or so minutes of portraits. They all turned out beautifully, but they also all looked relatively the same. So, we drew a line in the sand and promised ourselves that from then on, we wouldn’t shoot the same session twice and we began thinking up all sorts of cool alternatives to traditional engagement sessions. Hence the birth of Alt Sessions!  

Nowadays, instead of standing in a field practicing awkward prom poses, we’ll hang out and do something fun for your Alt Session. Like skiing. Or hiking with your dogs. Or grabbing a drink at your favorite happy hour spot. We have a long list of cool ideas and we never do the exact same shoot twice, so your session will be unique to you.

Our list of ideas can essentially be divided into three categories: epic locations, fun activities and avant-garde shoots.

Some of our favorite “epic location” sessions have been White Sands National Park in southern New Mexico, the ice caves in western Colorado, the Bonneville Salt Flats in western Utah and the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. And while we think that “epic” is one of the most overused words in the English language today, it’s still the best word to describe these locations (Trust us, we’ve spent hours looking through the thesaurus.)

Examples of activities we’ve photographed include going to watch fireworks, riding around in a tuk-tuk to a bunch of breweries in Denver and touring an antique airplane museum in Palm Springs, CA. Last, but not least, our avant-garde sessions have involved trampolines, colored powder, paint-filled water balloons and many more. There are a million alternatives to traditional engagement sessions we have yet to do, but start by checking out our past shoots below!

Unique Engagement Photo Ideas | Royal Gorge Engagement | Colorado Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Royal Gorge Engagement

I’ve been on a gondola or two in my day. But I’ve never experienced a ride like the one we took for Hanna and Dan’s Royal Gorge engagement session. Traveling almost 1000 ft. above the raging Arkansas River, the aerial gondola that takes you from one side of the gorge to the other isn’t for…
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Bride and Groom at Sand Dunes | White Sands Engagement | Destination Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

White Sands Engagement

Last weekend, we traded white snow flurries in Colorado for bright white sand dunes, stretching out for miles in New Mexico. While we’re no strangers to sandy Alt Sessions, Ashleigh and Tony’s White Sands engagement session had a particularly otherworldly feel to it. A mere 70 miles from the Mexico border, the entrance to White…
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Sunset Engagement Photo | Paint Mines Engagement Session | Colorado Springs Wedding Photographers | J. La Plante Photo

Paint Mines Engagement

When I first connected with Olivia and Brett, they mentioned that they had decided on the easy-to-remember date of 8/8/2020 for their wedding. Since Jesse and I have recently become experts on astrophotography, I knew that would be right around the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower. As we spoke on the phone, I looked…
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Bride and Groom at Brewery | RiNo Engagement | Denver Wedding Photographers | J. La Plante Photo

RiNo Engagement

The last month before your wedding can be a little hectic. There are approximately one million tiny decisions to make. Everyone wants a piece of your time. And you already have a full time job on top of it! You’d be completely justified in wanting to take a day to relax and not think about…
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Bride and Groom Under the Stars | Bonneville Salt Flats Engagement | Destination Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Bonneville Salt Flats Engagement

Where to begin? There’s so much I want to say about Frances and Bryce’s Bonneville Salt Flats engagement session that I’m paradoxically at a loss for words (much to Jesse’s disbelief). But if you take nothing else from this blog post, know that we had the best time at this Alt Session! Serendipity brought these…
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Bride and Groom in Ice Cave | Rifle Falls Engagement | Colorado Wedding Photographers | J. La Plante Photo

Rifle Falls Engagement

Ashley and Mitch wanted their Alt Session photos to contrast the tropical location where they’re getting married. And I love a good challenge. We already shot at the Ice Castles last year, so that was out. Snow is hard to predict in Colorado, so that added another wrench. But a few months ago, on a…
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Garden of the Gods Engagement | Colorado Springs Engagement | Colorado Springs Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Garden of the Gods Engagement

The first things that Lauren and Quentin shared with me about themselves were their love of outdoor activities and brewing their own beer. So, naturally, we had to follow their Garden of the Gods engagement session with a visit to Iron Bird Brewing Company. (And besides, can you even call it an Alt Session if it…
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Arches National Park Engagement | Moab Engagement | Destination Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Arches National Park Engagement

Eden and Cade live in Iowa, are getting married in Colorado, and made a special trip to Utah for their Alt Session this past weekend, which is exactly the kind of dedication to photos we love to see! So Jesse and I wanted to make sure this Arches National Park engagement session was completely worth…
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San Francisco Sunset Lifestyle Photo Shoot | Destination Wedding Photographer | J La Plante Photo

Tiny House Lifestyle Shoot

Catherine and Kacey are two of the most intelligent, caring and kind people you’ll ever meet. They laugh easily and often. They’re not scared away by a challenge. And they may have found a solution to the incessant noise of today’s digital world – in the form of their Bay Area tiny house. The idea…
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